Remember when you first discovered a new product that no one
else heard of and you got to share your new found treasure? It was so exciting that you couldn’t wait to
tell your friends and family. Look what I found! This product is amazing and by sharing my
special find with you, it reflects back to me as someone who curates cool stuff.
Years later that same product is everywhere and everyone
uses it and suddenly it has lost its panache. It is no longer that rare metal like
platinum but just common aluminum. When something scarce becomes ubiquitous it
loses an important aspect of the brand's personality. The product is no longer scarce.
Scarcity versus abundance
go through cycles with all types of products but it is a particularly interesting
phenomenon as success can kill a product because it loses its aura. Now everyone knows about it. Now everyone can find. Now everyone uses it.
Years ago I feared expanding our bakery business thinking
that if our Rachel's Brownies were everywhere they wouldn't be special. Fortunately, there
were so many markets and channels to expand that I don’t think we ever hit that saturation point.
But what can a brand do to keep alive that sense of original, unique and just
for you? How can you inoculate it so it is reinfected with hip?
These ideas aren't just for marketers selling products as they can be considered for those of you who sell a service too.
Three ideas to recharge a product
|Limited Edition of Ben & Jerry's |
Limited Editions: Brands
can introduce limited editions that are in the market for a short period of
time and energize early adopters. Is there a way that you can do what ice
cream companies have done for years and introduce a product for a limited time
period? What is your version of creating a cannoli flavored ice cream for your
brand? Can you develop a summer promotion to reemphasize a special benefit of
what you do? If you are a mechanic, maybe it’s a special limited summer tune up
bundling together a check of the AC system and tire rotation? Maybe it’s the vacation special?
If you are a caterer delivering lunches to office maybe you have your ‘swimsuit ready sandwich selection’ where low calorie meals are packaged together. (A limited offering until Labor Day). Selling a variation of your product or service in a limited
fashion brings some fresh energy, excitement and awareness to the brand.
|Coffee Via Starbucks |
Freshen Up The
Package: Another option is to change the graphics or even the functional
package so that the product is seen as new again even if it is just in a
different container. Starbucks did it
with Via where the essence of their coffee brand was transformed into a dry
form that you can take with you. How can you repackage what you offer into a
different format that is still consistent with your brand but an innovative
Think of what Dunkin Donuts did with munchkins.
Maybe you market your energy drink in different pack sizes so that you bundled
together 3 in a single pack and call it the triple play or the morning, noon and night pack. Work with the elements you have but find a new occasion or channel to sell. Shake it up.
|Past the Pete|
Borrow Equity in a Promotion:
When your product is connected to a new tribe or universe of users, you can
find a way to shine a bright new light on the brand. Maybe you highlight a branded ingredient that
allows you to reach into that community and share equity.
For example, if you
are marketing a Spicy salad dressing, you cross promote Texas Pete or Tabasco as
an ingredient in a licensing arrangement. If you are run a sun tanning salon, maybe you
offer a choice of three aromas while you tan to give that Hawaiian glow
(coconut), Acapulco (Tequila) or Myrtle
Beach (Barbecue) scent? Within your
product or service offering, see if some constituent element can get front
stage and become a hook to refresh the brand.
Create a New Discovery Path
Keeping a brand fresh is critical since something new is always coming behind you. Plan out at least one new approach each year to spike the excitement and to reconnect your customers with their original delight in finding that hidden gold.
It's On Me
|Whole Foods Treasure Hunt |
My daughter Fanny who writes the popular blog Fanfare, lives in Wilmington and saw that her local Whole Foods was running a promotion this past Saturday. They gave away all kinds of free food in a treasure hunt. You only knew about it if you were a fan on their Facebook page and you had to go on a treasure hunt in the store to find those things with a specially marked sticker. So she hunted around the store and got to take home 10 things with It's on me stickers. Great promotion and imagine all the people online talking about the store. Whole Foods bagged this concept. Kudos to their marketing team. They keep the brand discovery happening.
What are you doing to keep your brand scarce so your customers feel like they have found gold?
Note: Speaking of gold, I hope some of my ideas are worth discovering and sharing with like-minded marketing friends. If you treasure what I write, will you share it with at least one friend? Thank you.
Labels: abundance, Ben and Jerry, marketing connundrum, Marketing Moments, scarcity, Starbucks, Texas Pete., Via, Whole Foods